Yes You Need to Protect G-Suite – Spinbackup Briefing Note

While there are tools available to protect G-Suite, most require the implementation of a complete data protection solution that protects a variety of other operating systems and applications. The problem is many companies don’t need a backup software application that backs up everything because they only have one thing – Google G-Suite.

Why Backup G-Suite?

The first question that most small to medium-sized business owners ask is, why should I backup Google G-Suite at all? Doesn’t Google already do that? The answer to the second question is yes, but Google does their backups to protect Google not the organization using the platform. There are several reasons for a company to do its own data protection to safeguard against data loss and data leakage.

The first risk to Google G-Suite data is accidental deletion by an employee. In reality, users can recover most of these accidental deletions from Google’s own trash bin. The problem is the trash bin gives organizations a false sense of security because they think all recoveries can come from the trash bin when in reality accidental user deletion is the only real protection it provides.

The second risk is purposeful deletion by a user. This typically occurs when a user is leaving an organization and is either “cleaning up” or wanting to remove files purposely. When an employee goes this route, they almost always will empty the trash bin as well, permanently deleting the file. Without a backup, that data is gone.

The third risk is if malware infects the account. The most common example of this is the infection of a user’s laptop by a malware package, which then encrypts all the data on that laptop including the data in the users Google Drive folder. That data will then sync to the cloud, encrypting all the data that the user has access to in the cloud including shared directories. Since most organizations provide liberal access to folders to all of its users, this potentially means all the data the laptop user shares gets encrypted.

The final risk, and potentially the most dangerous, is if the administrator account login is compromised in some way. Once compromised, the new owner of the account can change all of the passwords and hold the company hostage. Or it can delete the entire account and in effect deleting the company, potentially putting it out of business.

There are other risks to data beyond data loss, including a concern about data leakage where sensitive data is transferred to a private account or shared outside of the domain.

Introducing Spinbackup

While there are a few solutions that will backup Google G-Suite most are tightly coupled to an enterprise backup application, which makes them more difficult to install and operate. Many G-Suite organizations are G-Suite organizations only, they don’t need to protect anything else because G-Suite holds all of their digital assets.

Spinbackup is a software as a service solution that is designed specifically to backup G-Suite. Within five minutes of starting the trial, backups and security audits are underway. It backs up Gmail, Drive, Team Drives, Calendar, Contacts and Sites. The solution is literally set and forget. Once implemented, the administrator needs to check in occasionally to make sure everything is working and the software didn’t find any vulnerabilities.

Restores are equally easy. The various G-Suite applications can be reset to look as they did at a certain point in time or specific files can be searched for and individually restored. The solution provides a handy pop-up calendar that will show files as they looked at a certain point and time.

Data is transferred from Google’s servers to Amazon, so Spinbackup provides cross-cloud protection. In the event of a catastrophic failure to Google’s cloud, Spinbackup users could easily get to their data on Amazon’s cloud. Data is also encrypted in route and at rest in the Amazon data center.

The solution allows the organization to use a separate Spinbackup account to store the backup data instead of their Google account. The account separation means that if the main Google account is compromised for some reason, the backup data is still accessible. If a bad actor takes over the account and deletes it, the organization merely needs to re-create it and restore data from Spinbackup.

StorageSwiss Take

At Storage Switzerland, we know the risks associated with data stored in the cloud. As is always the case, the weak point is the user. We run Spinbackup, and find it ideal for a business of our size. While Office 365 support is on the way, its current G-Suite focus is ideal for our use case. It allows us to protect our data, monitor data leakage and sleep better at night without having to install a local backup server and storage.

Eleven years ago George Crump founded Storage Switzerland with one simple goal; to educate IT professionals about all aspects of data center storage. He is the primary contributor to Storage Switzerland and is a heavily sought after public speaker. With over 25 years of experience designing storage solutions for data centers across the US, he has seen the birth of such technologies as RAID, NAS and SAN, Virtualization, Cloud and Enterprise Flash. Prior to founding Storage Switzerland he was CTO at one of the nation's largest storage integrators where he was in charge of technology testing, integration and product selection.

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Posted in Briefing Note

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